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The Most Important Boating Essentials That Every Boater Should Have



Boating Essentials

Did you know people experience physical and mental health benefits after boating? As such, boating ownership has increased across the States.

Yet, as an owner, you should have the right boating essentials to ensure a successful trip.

If you want to learn what you should pick up, keep reading. This guide will teach you all about what kinds of boating equipment you’ll need. You might also want to get watersport accessories, as well.

Are you ready to learn more? Check out the tips below.


Going Boating? Pick up Boat Safety Equipment

First, you want to have the proper safety equipment.

Ensure you have fire extinguishers, sound-producing devices, registration numbers, and documentation. You should also have navigation lights and visual distress signals. The US Coast Guard has a list of required items.

You might want a VHF radio with a digital selective calling system.

Documentation and Registration Numbers

Find out from local and state authorities if you have the proper paperwork. You may need specific decals on your boat’s exterior.

Get a waterproof pouch. Put all your paperwork inside this pouch to ensure everything stays dry. Some boat owners will pick up a giant waterproof bag. They put their smartphones and cameras there.

Floatation Devices

How many floatation devices will you need for your boat? Think about how many people will be on board your ship. Also, it would help if you thought about the variable sizes.

You’ll need the proper life jackets for kids, adults, and taller or wider people.

First Aid Kits

After you tuck away your life jackets and floatation devices, you should also add a basic first aid kit.

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Different manufacturers will make the kits specifically for a boat. You can get hydration tablets to ensure people don’t get dehydrated.

The kit should also come with a survival blanket. A survival blanket is for someone who has experienced extreme cold or heat. For example, if you fall into cold water in the fall, you’ll need to warm up.

Sound and Visual Signaling Devices

In an emergency, you’ll need to send out distress signals. A boat smaller than 16 feet will need a distress signal between sunset and sunrise. You should be fine if you don’t boat at night.

However, a boat larger than 16 feet, or 16 feet exactly, will need a combination of signaling devices. You’ll need floating smoke signals or flares and a distress flag.

Check out a local boating store to find out what you’ll need.

Docking Equipment and Fenders

Look into buying some fenders. You will probably have to pull your boat along a dock or another ship and tie it up. Make sure you have at least two fenders. This will create a buffer zone and protect your boat.

You might need specialty fenders and basic ones skippers use to starboard and port. A specialty fender will have a shape to protect a pontoon boat or a swim platform.

Don’t forget to pick up a line and anchor. Practice anchoring your boat a few times to know what you’re doing.

Don’t Forget Boating Accessories

Look at picking up plenty of boating accessories to enjoy your upcoming trip. Head to the local store and get thick, fluffy towels to dry off after swimming.

For water sports lovers, pick up water toys and water skis. You could get a few inflatable tubes.

Don’t forget to pick up a large cooler. Fill the cooler with drinks, snacks, and ice for a day on the water.

Ensure you always have a few extra bottles of sunscreen on your boat. If your guests forget to bring sunscreen, they can use yours.

Shading options will become necessary on board. Look at getting a portable shade or a removable Bimini top if you’re going out on the water in the height of midday.

Boat’s Ignition Key

Keep your boat’s ignition key in a safe spot. It’s easy to lose it in the chaos of a boating trip, so save yourself the headache by getting a floating keychain.

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Floating keychains usually have a compartment inside. You could put cash or other small items inside the keychain when you get ashore.

Boat Docking Lines

A high-quality boat dock line will help secure your boat to the dock or other vessels. A solid dock line will make things easier and quicker when you need to tie up the boat.

Don’t Forget Water Toys

Don’t head out for the day without some fun water toys. Water mats have become super popular to use on the lake. Some have a covering on the bottom so your little ones can splash around.

You could also pick up a few tubes to toss in the water. Learn about the proper boats for watersports.

Water launchers also suck up water and push it out in a stream. Younger kids might get a little restless, so make sure you also have some smaller toys for the boat.

Keep little cars, boats, or tiny dolls onboard near a shaded area.

Don’t Forget Hats, Sunglasses, and Hair Ties

You may have enough sunscreen for the day, but picking up a few swim hats is helpful.

You can protect your eyes and prevent a significant sun headache. Swim hats will also help protect your kids while swimming. For people who tend to burn quickly, get them a wide-brimmed hat.

You’ll also want a few extra pairs of sunglasses on board. If someone forgets their sunglasses, they can borrow yours. You don’t want anyone getting a migraine while out on the lake.

Pack extra hair ties and clips. You don’t want your hair to whip around and get super knotted when you get going.

Bring a Few Sets of Clothes

If you’re heading out for a lake day, make sure you have plenty of packed clothing. You should have a few extra changes of clothes.

You might remember to bring changes of clothes for your kids, but you don’t want to forget your own.

You can get chilly if you’re wet. Kids will wear their swimsuits on the boat but won’t want to continue wearing them after swimming.

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Bring warm sweatpants, sweaters, and pants. This will feel super cozy to slip into after an evening swim.

Eco-Friendly Soap

You could end your swim with a bath if you’re heading out on the lake. A lot of people remember shampooing in the lake after a swim. Look at getting the right eco-friendly and biodegradable products.

Shop around and find an eco-friendly shampoo and soap product.

Water Bottles and Water

It’s essential to stay hydrated while out on the water. On a particularly sunny day, you will sweat more and could become dehydrated. Make sure your guests all bring a water bottle.

You should also bring a large cooler of water or a pack of water bottles in case someone forgets.

Pre-Departure List

Before heading out on your trip, looking up the weather forecast is helpful. What’s the weather going to be like that day? Is it going to change in the afternoon?

Next, inspect your boat, and ensure all the operational and electrical controls are working correctly.

You should check the bilge pumps as well. Is your engine battery charged up? Look at topping up your fuel and oil levels, as well.

Ensure your first aid kit and safety gear are easily accessed on the boat. If you plan to go on an extended trip, finish a float plan.

Let someone else know where you plan to go and what to do if you don’t arrive on schedule.

Consider Packing Rain Gear

Poor weather can happen at any time. You want to be prepared, so you and your guests stay warm and protected. Pack waterproof pants, jackets, and boots.

Your crew will stay warm and dry during poor weather conditions.

Don’t Forget a Tool Kit

You should look at picking up a well-stocked onboard tool kit. In the event of a minor repair job, you’ll have the tools within reach. You should talk to a local boat manager and find out what you should have.

Marine Radio and a Mobile Device

During an emergency, you’ll want to use these communication devices. Bring your cell phone on board and put it in a waterproof case. You should also get a handheld VHF marine radio.

Don’t Forget These Boating Essentials

Having the right boating essentials will ensure you have a successful trip.

Refill your first aid kit and ensure you have the proper amount of life jackets for guests. Keep a cooler filled with ice and fresh snacks and drinks.

Do you need more helpful tips like this guide? Stick around and browse our leisure and travel sections today.

Shabbir Ahmad is a highly accomplished and renowned professional blogger, writer, and SEO expert who has made a name for himself in the digital marketing industry. He has been offering clients from all over the world exceptional services as the founder of Dive in SEO for more than five years.

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